An out-of-this-world Tatton Park Biennial 2012 | Knutsford Times

An out-of-this-world Tatton Park Biennial 2012

By on May 9, 2012

Expect double-takes galore this summer when visitors to Tatton Park come across a crash-landed flying saucer in the grounds of the historic estate.

‘VEX’, by artist Dinu Li, is a tantalising artwork created especially for Tatton Park Biennial 2012.  This leading contemporary art event brings new work, commissioned from established and emerging artists, to the mansion, gardens and parkland of Tatton Park from May 12 to September 30.

Li’s work is a 5-metre diameter spaceship, crash-landed on the long avenue approaching the Neo-Classical mansion.  But the intrigue does not stop there.   Inside the ship curious visitors will find a series of video messages from the pilot, whom, in this parallel universe, is the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.  In the videos Che extolls the virtues of subjects as diverse as space flight, gardening and dub music.

This captivating piece, inspired in part by the B movies of 1950s Cold War America, is sure to spark debate, excitement and to no doubt raise many a smile among our visitors.

Li hopes the work will “inspire us to be more receptive of the things around us and the potential to discover something fantastical around every corner.”  Li added: “There are moments in life when one is convinced we have seen or witnessed something that nobody else around seemed to notice. How many times have we read the newspaper about people saying they have seen Elvis or other people proclaiming they have seen a table levitate?”

His current work explores such themes and aims to connect its audience with experiences beyond the ordinary and the everyday.

An artwork of this scale and technicality presents a number of challenges. There have been lengthy discussions with designers, fabricators and technicians, to find solutions to questions posed by the work, such as: “‘how to design the piece accessible enough for humans to peer inside without it becoming a shelter for animals at night-time?’ or ‘how will morning dew affect the audio visual’s inner mechanisms?’ or ‘can the angle of the crash landing help prevent rain pouring inside the open hatch?’”

The installation of the work began on Wednesday, May 2, much to the curiosity of our visitors human and animal alike!

Curators, Danielle Arnaud and Jordan Kaplan, from commissioning group Parabola said “We’re really excited to see the results of Dinu’s installation, which has been many months in planning.  His performance piece navigates the audience through an alternative outlook on the past and present ranging from the legacy of Che Guevara, to depictions of space travel and dub step. It is certainly an experience for our visitors!”

Tatton Park Biennial 2012 is a leading contemporary art event, which is open to the public from Saturday, May 12 until Sunday, September 30 and brings new work, inspired by and for Tatton Park to the mansion, gardens and parkland.

Previous Biennials took place in 2008 and 2010 to critical and public acclaim. In 2012 the Biennial theme is ‘Flights of Fancy’ and examines the human urge to fly and the aeronautical legacy of Tatton Park and the region.

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